Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Avraham Morevski


Born on 8 March (A. S.) 1886 in Vilna, Polish Lithuania, to well-off parents, merchants. He learned in cheders, and from age ten on at home (the Holy tongue and Tenakh with David Notik, Gemara with a Piask rabbi, secular education -- with a private pedagogue, later with a teacher from a Vilna real school).

He showed no persistence, with a combined passion to the Russian language, general literature and general history, he did not achieve anything in natural history and mathematics.

Quite early he was drawn to theatre work, so M. often attended productions in Russian theatre, and he expressed his views in critiques, which he wrote for himself.

1903 -- he entered the Dorpater gymnasium, but he failed botany.

1904 -- took the examinations in Pernoy to be a pharmacy student, and due to "voynrekht", he became in 1907 an assistant procurer, but he did not receive any "voynrekht".

1907-10 -- studied in Peterburg in the "theatre school in the name of A. S. Suvorin", and finished with a diploma of  "artist of literary-artistic theatre".

From childhood on he considered buying, which would come to them in business, later he excelled as a declamator and thereby


very often oysgekoyft from insufficient knowledge in certain subjects. Almost even as a child he twice participated in amateur productions.

1905 -- debuted in a Russian theatre with Danilov as "Kniaz" in Pushkin's "Rusalka", and was very oysgenumen, but due to the pogroms in Southern Russia, he withdrew from the Russian stage.

When in 1910 he completed the dramatic school in Peterburg, he had the opportunity to perform in the presence of the Russian tsar Nicholas, and the poet Groysfirsht K. R., in 1910-11, performed as a Russian actor in the troupe of Byelayev in Grodno, then in other Russian troupes, until in 1913 when he crossed over to Yiddish stage debuting in Vilna in Lipovski's troupe as "Ikhiel" in Peretz Hirshbein's "Der letster". Shortly thereafter, he directed there Z. Zylbercweig's translation of A. Dumas' "Kean" (acting in the title role, and in the "Hamlet" scene in his own translation).

1919 -- engaged by the dramatic troupe of Kompaneyets in Lodz, where he directed Dymov's "Shma Yisrael", Asch's "Der landsman", Gordin's "Di emese kraft (The True Power)", Dr. Herzl's "Dos naye geto", Heman Zundermann's "Yohanes fayer" (translator -- Z. Zylbercweig), "Kean" by A. Dumas, and his own translation of L. Andreyev's "Der vos krigt di petsh (He Who Gets Slapped)" (publishers: Levin-Epstein Brothers, Warsaw, 1922).

Soon thereafter M. joined the "Vilna Troupe" in Warsaw and later staged several plays from his repertoire. He performed D. (?) on 9 December 1920 (under the direction of David Herman) as "Der mirapolier tsadik" in Anski's "Der dybuk", in which he evoked tremendous praise, and he became popular all over the world.

In the summer of 1921 M. guest-starred in Vilna's Helios Theatre and managed there Anski's "Der dybuk" in four acts (during Herman's direction in three acts).

From now on he continued without pause for every new active work.

In the autumn of 1921, M. became engaged for Berlin in order to film the "Dybbuk", but at one time the work was cut short.

February 1922 -- M. again became engaged by the "Vilna Troupe", where he directed on 23 February 1922 his translation of Gutzkov's "Uriel Acosta" (publisher Levin-Epstein Brothers, Warsaw, 1922). Understudied later for the role of "Uriel" with a shteyn. In  May 1922 M. performed in the troupe (under the direction of L. Kadison) as "Mordechai Mazo" in H. Leivick's "Shmates (Rags)", and after acting with the troupe across Poland and Galicia, M. traveled abroad, where he performed in the translation in verses from William Shakespeare's "Shylock" (which he completed in 1926).

In October 1922 M. performed with the "Vilna Troupe" in Vienna and united with the embodiment of the "tsadik" Max Reinhardt, with whom he successfully directed the proceedings.

In May 1923 M. became engaged to Berlin as an artistic advisor for the film "Das alte Gesetz" (under the direction of Ewald André Dupont), in which M. acted in the role of "the old Rabbi (Rabbiner Mayer -- ed.)", together with Henny Porten, Ernst Deutsch et al.

From August 1923 he acted for several weeks in Vilna's Palace Theatre and broke the "dbukiade" with a production of "Kean" (twenty-two times in a row, at the same time directing with the art society).

After spending several months in Berlin, he became engaged from May--September 1924 in "Ufa" for the film "Der Turm des Schweigens" (under the direction of Dr. Johannes Guter), together with Xenia Desni, Hanna Ralph and Fritz Delius.

Returning to Poland, M. guest-starred for a certain time in Warsaw's Central Theatre, where he staged in February 1925 Alter Katsizne's "Der dukus (The Duke)" (performing in the role of "the Old Duke"). Then he toured for a certain time across the Polish province with speeches and recitations, and in March 1925 he staged with "amateurs" in Mezritch the last two acts of "Dybbuk" (also acting it it).

After a long break he began in September 1925 to regisseur, together with Byegansky, in the Polish film society "Merkur", a scenario from Anski's "Dybbuk", but due to the arrest of the financial director of the society, the plan was not realized.

In October--November 1925 -- he guest starred in Lodz with Tselmeister, then acted for several weeks in Vilna and became engaged to Lipovski as artistic director in the opened folks theatre, but not having any sufficient moralistic guarantee with a publicly demisye speech at the opening of the theatre.

After a long break M. toured across the Crown of Poland with speeches, under the title "Theatre and Jews".

At the end of August 1926 M. became engaged for Riga in order to arrange the Yiddish Meutim Theatre, and in the span of four months he gave twelve productions from his repertoire in Riga, and in the Latvian province.

In June 1927 M. returned to the restored "Vilna Troupe" in Galicia and performed there on 12 August 1927 (under the direction of David Herman) in Prager's "Der nsyun" (role of "Prits"). Several months later M. took over the management of the "Krokever Yiddish Theatre", from which he soon withdrew, became the committee of the theatre mixed the repertoire of dramas with small arts, and he then toured acros the Galician province with speeches and recitation evenings.

In February 1928 M. was engaged for Argentina (Buenos Aires, Teatro Ambu, direction A. Mide), where he acred for three months and finished guest-starring across the Argentinean province. From here M. became engaged to Maurice Schwartz's Yiddish Art Theatre in New York, where M. debuted on 12 October 1928 in his offering of "Der vos krigt di petsh (He Who Gets Slapped)", then M. performed here in his offering as "Mordechai Mazo" in "Di shmates (Rags)", as "Der miropolier tsadik" in "Dybuk", as "Firs" in Bulgakov's offering of Checkov's "Cherry Orchard", in Schwartz's offering of Asch's "Kiddush Hashem" (performing as Ikhiel Golddshmidt in "Arendar mendl"), and in Schwartz's offering of his reformed Gordin's play "God, Man and Devil" (role of "Khatskel Drakhme").

Due to his farsharfter heyzerikeyt, M. withdrew from theatre and after a break of several months, he took over in the summer of 1929 the leadership of the children's productions of the Arbeiter Ring (Workmen's Circle), which he finished up with a large production of Peretz's "Di din-Toyre miṭn ṿinṭ".

Winter 1929 -- M. became engaged for Chicago as a regisseur for the local "Yiddish literary-dramatic society", and after staged and co-acted in Katsizne's "Dukus", nder the name "Printsim", M. attempted to stage his translation of "Shylock". The stage production arrived but not for, and in February 1930 M. staged Harry Sackler's "The Saint's Journey".

March 1930 -- returned to New York, and in May 1930 he left America. Stopping in Paris -- he appeared several times as a guest-star.

August 1930 -- entered into the "Novoshtshi" Warsaw theatre, which became through his initiative, expanded with new powers, and in November 1930 he performed in the main role of Bicher's "Danton's Death" (under the direction of Dr. M. Weichert).

Soon M. lefte again across the province (until April 1931( with speeches under the title "Europe in America", and "Shakespeare in the Light of Yiddish Display".

In September 1931 M. joined Warsaw's Yiddish dramatic theatre (leader -- Dr. M. Weichert), where he acted (under the direction of M. Weichert) in the title role of Sholem Asch's "Reverend Dr. Zilber", and then M. toured, for the first time, on a guest-tour with his own troupe (Genia Shlitt, Rivka Gamarska, Nava Vay, Daniel Shapiro, Y. Berman) across Poland, visiting in the span of sixty days fifty-five cities. Due to the anti-Jewish ekstses in November 1931 when the proeductions had to be interrupted.

In 1931 M. had (15 January--15 February) guest-starred in Vilna's folks-theatre (Dr. M. Karpinovch and B. Ass).

At the end of February 1932 -- with the close cooperation of Aaron Mark -- organized the dramatic class of the of the musical institute in Vilna, but a month later he withdrew due to the terrible indifference of the society and the lack of means.

M. also in the last years published in the various Yiddish periodical publications of Europe and America his many articles and essays about theatre generally, and Yiddish theatre especially., about plays, dramatists, actors, theatre people and critiques. An especially large series M. had under "Ahin un tsuriḳ (zikhroynes un rayoynes fun a yidn, an aḳṭyor"), published in the Buenos Aires "Prese" (21 October 1928--20 January 1929, with breaks).

In recent times M. also began to publish articles and essays about general societal and daily questions.

Sh. E. and M. E.

  • Z. Reyzen -- "Lexicon of Yiddish Literature", II, pp. 337-338.

  • L. I. [Lazar Kahan] -- "Der vos krigt di petsh", Lodz folksshtime, 6 September 1920.

  • Zalmen Zylbercweig -- "Der vos krigt di petsh", "Lodtagnblat", 20 September 1920.

  • Eyner [A. Einhorn] -- Teatrale notitsn, "Nayer haynt", Warsaw, 22 October 1922.

  • Shmai [Sh. Rosenfeld] -- Agb urkha, "Hatzfirah", Warsaw, N' 54, 1922.

  • D. A. Birzovski -- Avraham morevski, "Unzer tog", Vilna, 29 March 1921.

  • A Litvak -- Dramatishe verk, "Bikher-velt", N' 2, 1922.

  • Eyner -- Teatrale notitsn, "Nayer haynt", Warsaw, N' 54, 1922.

  • B. K-s [Karlinski] -- "Akosta" oyf der yudisher bihne", "Moment", Warsaw, 14 March 1922.

  • A teatral [B. Mikhalevich] -- "Uriel akosta" bey di vilner, "Folkstsaytung", Warsaw, 15 march 1922.

  • Y. Shpigel -- Vilner trupe, "Shmates", "Togblat", Lemberg, 1 July 1922.

  • Dr. Max Weinreich -- In vilne rudert zikh itst mit a groysen idishn aktor, take a vilner, "Forward", N. Y., 18 May 1924.

  • Alter Katsizne -- "Kean" in teater tsentral, "Literarishe bleter", Warsaw, N' 37, 1925.

  • A. K. -- Tsvey dbukim, "Literarishe bleter", Warsaw, N' 34, 1924.

  • I. Y. Z. [Singer] -- Nokh amol vegn di "tsvey dbukim", "Literarishe bleter", 40, 1925.

  • Alter Katsizne -- Khuzk hot zayn hoyzn nisht derkent, "LIterarishe bleter", Warsaw, N' 41, 1925.

  • A. Morevski -- Vegn kultur in teater, "Literarishe bleter", 62, 1925.

  • Yud-bis -- A. morevski vegn dem yidishn teater, dort, 113, 1926.

  • M. Zilburg -- A. morevski, dort, 122, 1926.

  • Michail Yo -- Tsvey dybukim, "Frimorgn", Riga, 3 January 1927.

  • Michael Weichert -- "Teater un drame", II, pp. 18-20, 38-41, 122-24.

  • Jacob Botoshansky -- A. morevskin -- baruckh hba, "Prese", Buenos Aires, 30 March 1928.

  • [--] -- Avraham morevski tsu gast in "di prese", "Prese", "Prese", Buenos Aires, 1 April 1928.

  • Jacob Botoshansky -- A. morevskis debut in teater "ambu", "shmates' fun h. leivick, "Prese", Buenos Aires, 8 April 1928.

  • Sh. G. [Glazerman] -- "Shmates" fun h. leivik, rezhi un hoypt-onteyl fun a. morevski, "Di Idishe tsaytung", Buenos Aires, 8 April 1928.

  • Jacob Botoshansky -- Der emser emes vegn h. leiviks shmates un a. morevski debut, "Prese", Buenos Aires, 10 April 1928.

  • Shmuel Glazerman -- A. morevskis triumf in "der vos krigt di petsh", "Di Idishe tsaytung", Buenos Aires, 15 April 1928.

  • Jacob Botoshansky -- "Der vos krigt di petsh" fun l. andreyev, rezhi un hoyptrale a. morevski, "Prese", Buenos Aires, 15 April 1928.

  • T. Beilin -- Avraham morevski, "Ney-land", Buenos Aires, N' 1, 1928.

  • Sh. R. [Rozhansky] -- "Dos naye geto", oyfgefirt fun a. morevski, "Idishe tsaytung", Buenos Aires, 15 May 1928.

  • Jacob Botoshansky -- A. morevskis oyfirung fun a. katsiznes "dukus", "Prese", Buenos Aires, 15 May 1928.

  • Sh. Glazerman -- "er dukus" oyfgefirt fun a. morevski, "Di idishe tsaytung", Buenos Aires, 15 May 1928.

  • Jacob Botoshansky -- Der landsman fun sh. ash, oyfgefirt in "idishn teater" fun a. morevski, "Prese", Buenos Aires, 27 May 1928.

  • Sh. R. -- Sholem ash's "landsman" oyfgefirt durkh morevskin, "Idishe tsaytung", Buenos Aires, 27 May 1928.

  • Jacob Botoshansky -- Nombergs "mishpakha" in a. morevskis oyffirung, "Prese", Buenos Aires, 5 June 1928.

  • Shmuel Rozhansky -- Morevskis oyfirung fun "di mishpakha", "Idishe tsaytung", Buenos Aires, 6 June 1928.

  • Jacob Botoshansky -- A. morevski's oyffirung fun anski's "dybuk" in teater "ambu", "Prese", Buenos Aires, 10 June 1928.

  • Sh. Rozhansky -- Morevskis oyffirung "der dybuk", "Idishe tsaytung", Buenos Aires, 10 June 1928.

  • Sh. Rozansky -- A yom-tov fun a shoyshpiler a kinstler, "Idishe tsaytung", Buenos Aires, 18 June 1928.

  • B. -- Morgn der ernovnt fun a. morevski, "Prese", Buenos Aires, 19 June 1928.

  • Dr. L. Zhitnitsky -- Der yidisher "Kean", tsu avraham morevskis benefit, "Prese", Buenos Aires, 19 June 1928.

  • Sh. -- Morevski tsu zayn ehren ovend "Idishe tsaytung", Buenos Aires, 20 June 1928.

  • Jacob Botoshansky -- A. morevskis ernovnt in "idishn teater", "kean" fun a. duma, idish z. zylbercweig, rezhi a. morevski, "Prese", Buenos Aires, 22 June 1928.

  • Shmuel Rozhansky -- Morevskis ern-ovnt in teater "ambu", "kean" fun a. duma, "Idishe tsaytung", Buenos Aires, 22 June 1928.

  • Shmuel Rozhansky -- "Shma yisrael", oyfgefirt fun a. morevski, "Idishe tsaytung", Buenos Aires, 26 June 1928.

  • [--] -- Avraham morevskis referat vegn teater, "Prese", Buenos Aires, 12 July 1928.

  • Avraham Morevski -- Referat vegn teater in yidn, "Idishe tsaytung", Buenos Aires, 12, 13 July 1928.

  • Avraham Morevski -- Mayn yubl toast, "Literarishe bleter", Warsaw, N' 9, 1928.

  • Jacob Botoshansky -- A. morevskis gut yom-tov, "Prese", Buenos Aires, 20 July 1928.

  • [--] -- Der tey fun "yung argentine" lkbud a. morevskin, "Idishe tsaytung", Buenos Aires, 20 July 1928.

  • [--] -- Der opshteyds-banket fun "yung argentine" lkbut a. morevskin, "Prese", Buenos Aires, 31 July 1928.

  • A. Morevski -- Ahin un tsurik (zikhrunus un reunus fun a yidn, an'aktor), "Prese", Buenos Aires, 21, 28 Oct., 25 November, 2, 23 December 1928, 6, 13, 20 January 1929.

  • A. M. Mandelbaum -- Intervyu mit avraham morevski, "Frayhayt", N. Y., 14 September 1928.

  • H. Ehrenreich -- Der ershter oyftrit fun avraham morevski, "Forward", N. Y., 5 October 1928.

  • A. Glantz -- Iber dos in iber yents, "Tog", N. Y., 5 October 1928.

  • Ab. Cahan -- Avraham morevski un zayn ershte forshtelung in amerike, "Forward", N. Y., 11 October 1928.

  • Dr. A. Mukdoni -- Avraham morevski, "Morning Journal", N. Y., 12 October 1928.

  • A. Glantz -- Avraham morevskis ershter oyftrit in idishen kunst-teater, "Der tog", N. Y., 14 October 1928.

  • Jacob Kirschenbaum -- Avraham morevskis debut in idishen kunst teater, "Amerikaner", N. Y., 19 October 1928.

  • L. Fogelman -- Avraham morevski un zayn oyfirung fun "dybuk", "Forward", N. Y., 31 October 1928.

  • Avraham Morevski -- Mayne interesante momenten oyf der bihne, "Tog", N. Y., 29 March 1929.

  • Dr. A. Mukdoni -- Ideler "spektakl", "Morning Journal", N. Y., 17 January 1930.

  • W. E. [Willam Edlin] -- Morevski's opfohr fun amerike un zayn erfahrung tsvishn unz, "Tog", N. Y., 8 May 1930.

  • Spektator [N. Frank] -- Avraham morevski, "Parizer haynt', 4 June 1930.

  • L. Melakh -- Enin "morevski-amerike", "Prese", Buenos Aires, 15 June 1930.

  • Elkhanan Zeitlin -- Avraham morevski, "Unzer ekspres", Warsaw, 5 September 1930.

  • A. Shvartzer [Y. Nisenbaum] -- Avraham morevski, "Lubliner tagenblat", 23 October 1931.

  • Yankev (Jacob) Botoshansky -- Tsvishn forhang un leyvnt, "Prese", Buenos Aires, 6 November 1931.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1259.

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